Contentious divorces are very stressful. You may be unhappy about the circumstances that led to your divorce, and this unhappiness can steadily build into resentment. Your feelings might cause you to treat your former spouse badly, and you may even feel justified in this poor treatment if infidelity or abuse was a factor in the demise of your marriage.
It is natural to feel angry during your divorce, but keep in mind that unleashing your anger can be detrimental to your case. Forbes explains a few of the possible consequences of bad behavior and why you should avoid them.
Denial of custody requests
The court prefers to award joint custody, as it is believed to be in the best interest of the children. However, the court will award sole custody and limit visitation under certain circumstances. In addition to instances of abuse and neglect, the court may deny you custody if you try to alienate your child against the other parent. Placing the child at the center of disputes is also frowned upon, as it places undue stress on the child while also affecting their relationship with your ex-spouse. Additionally, anything that calls into question your parenting ability can also be used against you.
Reduced assets and spousal support
Asset division and spousal support are both particularly divisive when it comes to divorce. While the court believes in making these decisions fairly, your conduct can directly impact them. For example, if you make claims that affect your spouse’s professional reputation or earning capability, the amount of spousal support you receive can be reduced. Your ex can also use your behavior to argue that they deserve a greater share of the assets, and depending on the circumstances they might be successful.
Increased stress and anxiety
In addition to the effects on your court case, bad behavior towards your spouse will also impact you personally. Divorces are stressful enough, and making negative statements about your spouse will only make the situation more stressful for all involved. Keep negative statements to yourself, both in real life and online. In recent years, many courts have accepted statements made on social media as evidence in court cases, including divorces. Be respectful and civil to ensure your point of view has merit.